Meghan Stevens '24 Earns Best Undergraduate Poster at National Conference

Submitted by Lee Capristo on December 21, 2023 - 3:40 pm
December 21, 2023
By Lee Capristo

Environmental studies and biology major Meghan Stevens ’24 presented her research, produced under the mentorship of Cassie Gurbisz, associate professor of marine science, at the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) conference held November 12-16 in Portland, Oregon.

Stevens’ poster, titled “Is estuarine submerged aquatic vegetation an alkalinity source or sink?” earned an award from the CERF governing board as one of the top three undergraduate posters of the conference. The work is part of a National Science Foundation-funded study of seagrasses in the Chesapeake Bay, to understand how these underwater plants affect water chemistry and how they play a role in the water’s natural ability to resist ocean acidification. Co-authors for the poster were Lora Harris, Theresa Murphy and Ryan Woodland of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, as well as Raymond Najjar of the Pennsylvania State University. Travel and CERF conference support for Stevens was provided by St. Mary's College of Maryland Department of Biology and Office of Academic Affairs as well as the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society.  

“I absolutely loved getting to attend CERF! Everyone was so incredibly nice, and I'm really grateful I was able to go out there,” said Stevens of the experience. “I simultaneously felt very young and inexperienced as one of few undergraduates there, and also so grown up and independent. I was out of my comfort zone, but so excited to be there. A million thanks to Cassie [Gurbisz] for making it all possible for me to go! She’s been such a great mentor."